Lately, I’ve been diving into Pester and today I ran into a function that called the same command twice, each time outputting something different (or it should). The function tests and if needed attempts to correct the status of a service. Below is the specific scenario I was trying to simulate:

  • Tests the service with Get-Service.
    • Service is stopped.
      • Attempts to start service.
        • Tests the service with Get-Service.
          • Service is running.
            • Script exits.

I was having a hard time with the fact that Get-Service was being run twice. The first time I needed it to return Stopped, but the second time Running. After a bit of research, I found an example using a script scoped variable as an execution counter. This is what it looks like:

Context 'When service is stopped and successfully started' {

### Initial count ###

  $Script:MockCounter = 0

  Mock -CommandName Get-Service -MockWith {

### Increments counter by 1 each time ###


### Mocks the first time Get-Service is run ###

    if ($Script:MockCounter -eq 0) {
        return @{Status='Stopped'}

### Mocks the second time Get-Service is run ###

    if ($Script:MockCounter -eq 1) {
        return @{Status='Running'}

The first time Get-Service is mocked the counter is set to zero, returning @{Status='Stopped'}. $Script:MockCounter++ is executed, setting the counter to one, mocking Get-Service with @{Status='Running'} the second time.

This is only the second Pester test I’ve written. If there’s something I could have done better I’d love to know. You can contact me @theclintcolding or leave a comment below!

You can find the complete function and tests on Github.